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Multilayered polyolefin-based films having integrated backsheet and encapsulation performance comprising a layer comprising crystalline block copolymer composite or block copolymer composite

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Multilayered polyolefin-based films having integrated backsheet and encapsulation performance comprising a layer comprising crystalline block copolymer composite or block copolymer composite


A multilayer film structure comprising a top encapsulation layer A, a tie Layer B between top Layer A and bottom Layer C and a bottom layer C, the multilayer film structure characterized in that tie Layer B comprises a crystalline block composite resin or a block composite resin and bottom Layer C comprises a polyolefin having at least one melting point greater than 125° C.
Related Terms: Encapsulation Block Copolymer Polymer Resin Olefin Crystallin

Browse recent Dow Global Technologies LLC patents - Midland, MI, US
USPTO Applicaton #: #20140096825 - Class: 136259 (USPTO) -
Batteries: Thermoelectric And Photoelectric > Photoelectric >Cells >With Concentrator, Housing, Cooling Means, Or Encapsulated

Inventors: Jeffrey E Bonekamp, Yushan Hu, Nichole E. Nickel, Lih-long Chu, John A. Naumovitz, Mark G. Hofius

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The Patent Description & Claims data below is from USPTO Patent Application 20140096825, Multilayered polyolefin-based films having integrated backsheet and encapsulation performance comprising a layer comprising crystalline block copolymer composite or block copolymer composite.

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This application claims priority from copending provisional U.S. Patent application 61/503,326 filed Jun. 30, 2011 having the same title as this application; from copending U.S. patent application Ser. No. 61/570,464 filed Dec. 14, 2011 entitled, “FUNCTIONALIZED BLOCK COMPOSITE AND CRYSTALLINE BLOCK COMPOSITE COMPOSITIONS AS COMPATIBILIZERS” and from copending United States patent application filed Dec. 14, 2011 Ser. No. 61/570,340 entitled, “FUNCTIONALIZED BLOCK COMPOSITE AND CRYSTALLINE BLOCK COMPOSITE COMPOSITIONS”. This application is related to commonly assigned and copending U.S. Patent application Ser. No. 61/503,335 filed the same date herewith and entitled “MULTILAYERED POLYOLEFIN-BASED FILMS HAVING A LAYER COMPRISING A CRYSTALLINE BLOCK COPOLYMER COMPOSITE OR A BLOCK COPOLYMER COMPOSITE” and claiming priority from provisional U.S. Patent application 61/503,335.

This invention relates to films having a crystalline block copolymer composite or block copolymer composite layer and having improved combinations of properties; being particularly suited for use as an integrated or combined protective backsheet and encapsulation layer in electronic device (ED) modules, e.g., photovoltaic (PV) modules. In one aspect, the invention relates to the backsheet/encapsulation films for use in such modules. In another aspect, the invention relates to co-extruded, multilayered films of this type. In still another aspect, the invention relates to the ED module incorporating such a backsheet/encapsulation film.

Thermoplastic polymeric material films, often referred to as plastic films, are commonly used as layers in the manufacture of modules or assemblies comprising one or more electronic devices including, but not limited to, solar cells (also known as photovoltaic (PV) cells), liquid crystal panels, electro-luminescent devices and plasma display units. The modules often comprise an electronic device in combination with one or more substrates or layers, often positioned between two substrates or layers, in which one or both of the substrates comprise, as support(s), glass, metal, plastic, rubber or another material. The terminology for the names and descriptions of the ED component layers varies somewhat between different writers and different producers but polymeric film materials are typically used as internally located “encapsulant” or “sealant” layers for the device itself or, depending upon the design of the device, as outer “cover” or “skin” layer components of the module.

PV modules are well known in the art, and typically comprise the following layer components that are assembled into the final module structure: 1. a stiff or flexible transparent cover layer, 2. a front transparent encapsulant, 3. a PV (solar) cell, 4. a rear encapsulant (typically the same composition as the front encapsulant) and 5. a backsheet. Another possible PV module design using a backsheet layer is: 1. a stiff transparent cover layer such as glass 2. a cell material deposited onto the stiff transparent cover layer 3. an encapsulant layer 5. a backsheet

The present invention is concerned with improved integrated backsheet films or film layers that utilize a crystalline block copolymer composite or block copolymer composite layer and combine the functions (relative to a conventional PV module structure) of a rear encapsulant layer with the backsheet layer and in turn provide improved PV modules in terms of cost effectiveness and performance. Backsheet layers, as discussed in more detail below, protect the back surface of the cell and may have additional features that enhance the performance of the PV module.

Examples of some of the types of backsheet products that are currently in commercial use are TPE-type structures (a PVF/PET/EVA laminate) available from Madico, and Icosolar 2442 (a PVF/PET/PVF laminate) available from Isovolta; and PPE-type structures (PET/PET/EVA) structure available from Dunmore. A number of proposed improved and enhanced backsheets are also disclosed including the following.

In U.S. Pat. No. 6,521,825 solar cell module backsheet layers are disclosed having two heat and weather resistant layers with a moisture resistant core layer.

In U.S. Pat. No. 7,713,636B2 multi-layer films comprising propylene-based polymers are disclosed having improved peel strength properties and comprising a core layer and a first tie layer made from at least 5 wt % of a grafted propylene-based polymer.

WO 2010/053936 discloses backsheet layers for electronic device (ED) modules, e.g., photovoltaic (PV) modules, having at least three layers including a tie layer of a glycidyl methacrylate graft resin joining layers that each use a maleic anhydride modified resin (MAH-m resin) in each of the joined layers to provide good interlayer adhesion.

US 2011/0048512 discloses backsheet layers for electronic device (ED) modules, e.g., photovoltaic (PV) modules, comprising a coextruded multilayer sheet that comprises: i) an inner layer comprising a polyolefin resin; ii) a core layer comprising a polypropylene resin, a blend of a polypropylene resin and a maleic anhydride grafted polypropylene (MAH-g-PP), or a polypropylene resin/MAH-g-PP multilayer structure; iii) an outer layer comprising a maleic anhydride grafted polyvinylidene fluoride (MAH-g-PVDF), a blend of a polyvinylidene fluoride (PVDF) and a MAH-g-PVDF, or a PVDF/MAH-g-PVDF multilayer structure; iv) a first tie layer between the core layer and the outer layer; and v) an optional second tie layer between the core layer and the inner layer.

In WO/2011/009568 there are disclosed photovoltaic module backsheets on base of preferably high molecular weight, impact resistant, shrinkage and thermal (flow) resistant FPP (Flexible Polypropylene) compositions preferably containing functional particles or being coextruded with a primer adhesive layer to obtain highly reliable adhesion on EVA adhesive layers. In one embodiment, the backsheet has a functionalized polyolefin (PO) adhesive layer allowing direct adhesion to cells back-contacts, i.e. without the use of an EVA adhesive layer. In a further embodiment, the backsheet, with functional PO adhesive layer, allows the use of an upper adhesive layer which has a transparent thermoplastic polyolefin (TPO) film layer.

Noting the issues and limitations involved with the use of the prior art components in electronic devices such as PV modules, there is always a continuing desire for improved and lower cost electronic devices such as PV modules that can be obtained by use of improved components in their construction. One particular improvement that is thought to increase lifetime of PV modules is better interlayer adhesion of integrated backsheet sufficient in magnitude to substantially reduce or eliminate interlayer failure, i.e., delamination, between backsheet layers in PV modules.

SUMMARY

OF THE INVENTION

Therefore, according the present invention there is provided a multilayer film structure comprising a top encapsulation Layer A, a bottom Layer C and a tie Layer B between Layer A and Layer C, the multilayer film structure characterized in that Layer B comprises a crystalline block copolymer composite (CBC) or a specified block copolymer composite (BC), comprising: i) an ethylene polymer (EP) comprising at least 40 mol % polymerized ethylene; ii) an alpha-olefin-based crystalline polymer (CAOP) and iii) a block copolymer comprising (a) an ethylene polymer block comprising at least 40 mol % polymerized ethylene and (b) a crystalline alpha-olefin block (CAOB), or a mixture of said composite(s); and bottom Layer C comprises a polyolefin having at least one melting point greater than 125° C. In a number of the alternative embodiments related to the selection of block composite resins there are provided such film structures where the i) EP in tie Layer B comprises at least 80 mol % polymerized ethylene and the balance polymerized propylene; the block composite resin in tie Layer B is a crystalline block composite resin; the tie Layer B block composite resin has a CAOB amount (in part (iii)) in the range of from 30 to 70 weight % of the CAOB, preferably in the range of from 40 to 60 weight % of the CAOB and/or tie Layer B comprises a CBC having a CBCI of between 0.3 to 1.0 or a specified BC having a BCI of between 0.1 to 1.0.

Alternatively, in Layer B in such films, propylene is the alpha-olefin in ii) and iii) in tie Layer B and the CAOP is a copolymer of propylene and ethylene; tie Layer B comprises a blend comprising greater than 40 weight percent CBC or specified BC, such blend preferably further comprising one or more polyolefin selected from an ethylene octene copolymer plastomers or elastomer, LLDPE and LDPE; and/or the CBC or specified BC of Layer B has a melt flow rate of from 3 to 15 g/10 min (at 230° C./2.16 Kg).

Alternatively in a further embodiment, the invention is a multilayer film structure as described above in which the top encapsulation Layer A comprises an ethylene octene copolymer plastomers or elastomer, preferably a silane-graft containing ethylene octene copolymer.

Further alternative embodiments include such films as described above wherein the bottom Layer C comprises a propylene-based polymer, preferably a propylene-based polymer having a heat of fusion value of at least 60 Joules per gram (J/g).

In one embodiment the present invention is such a multilayer film structure comprising a top encapsulation Layer A comprising a silane-graft-containing ethylene alpha olefin copolymer, a bottom Layer C comprising a propylene-based polymer and a tie Layer B between Layer A and Layer C comprising a crystalline block copolymer composite (CBC) comprising i) an ethylene polymer (EP) comprising at least 93 mol % polymerized ethylene; ii) a crystalline propylene polymer and iii) a block copolymer comprising (a) an ethylene polymer block comprising at least 93 mol % polymerized ethylene and (b) a crystalline propylene polymer block and preferably the Layer B is a blend further comprising one or more polyolefin selected from an ethylene octene copolymer plastomers or elastomer, LLDPE and LDPE.

In another embodiment of the present invention such multilayer film structures according to claim 1 have a thickness of from 0.2 to 1.5 mm wherein Layer A is from 0.15 to 1.25 mm in thickness; Layer B is from 10 to 150 μm in thickness; and Layer C is from 150 to 375 μm in thickness.

Another embodiment includes electronic device (ED) modules comprising an electronic device and such films as described herein. A further embodiment is a lamination process to construct a laminated PV module comprising the steps of: (1.) bringing at least the following layers into facial contact in the following order: (a) a light-receiving top sheet layer having an exterior light-receiving facial surface and an interior facial surface; (b) a light transmitting thermoplastic polymer encapsulation layer, having one facial surface directed toward the top sheet layer and one directed toward a light-reactive surface of a PV cell; (c) a PV cell having a light reactive surface; (d) a backsheet layer comprising a multilayer film structure according to Claim 1; and (2.) heating and compressing the layers of Step (1.) at conditions sufficient to create the needed adhesion between the layers and, if needed in some layers or materials, initiation of their crosslinking.



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stats Patent Info
Application #
US 20140096825 A1
Publish Date
04/10/2014
Document #
14122720
File Date
06/28/2012
USPTO Class
136259
Other USPTO Classes
156182
International Class
/
Drawings
2


Encapsulation
Block Copolymer
Polymer
Resin
Olefin
Crystallin


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